Texas High School Teacher Alleges He Was Fired for Telling Students He Is Gay Via Text Message

A North Texas teacher was allegedly fired for revealing to his students that he is gay but the school district says he was fired for inappropriate communication.

Dr. Josh Hamilton formerly taught professional communications and college readiness at Grapevine High School. He was also the coach of Grapevine High's competitive speech team which won state and national championships last year.

It all began when Hamilton sent out a text to his speech team to urge the students to temporarily set aside personal matters and focus on the approaching tournament, reports the Fort-Worth Star Telegram.

"Guys, I get it. We all have something going on," he wrote, going on to tell them about how he overcame depression and came out as "a happy functioning gay man."

The next day, he was questioned by the district's human resources department. An employee questioned him on what elements of his personal life he had shared with his students, he said.

He freely allowed them to review the messages on his phone and then was put on administrative leave for "violating the district's electronic communication policy."

He gave his phone to administrators, he said, "because I have nothing to hide."

He suspects a parent of a student on his team reported it.

At a recent meeting, the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board members voted unanimously to move forward with firing Hamilton for violating the district's texting policy.

"Dr. Hamilton violated the standards by developing inappropriate relationships with students, providing inappropriate information to the students concerning his personal life, through text messages, treating students as family members or close friends and providing inappropriate personal information to the students," said a district human resource employee at the meeting.

fired stock photo
The State of Texas has no legal protections on the books prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace. Getty

On Monday, the Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to fire him for "developing inappropriate relationships with students, providing inappropriate information to the students concerning his personal life."

Some of the texts were to his speech team, but eight of the texts in question were to a student who babysits his young son.

One of the accusations against him was that he mentioned he was going on a date to the student watching his child, but it was clear information on where Hamilton was going to be so he could be reached in an emergency.

"If we're going to fire a teacher for texting a kid, we're going to fire a lot of teachers in Texas," he said.

Now he's fighting to clear his name and get his job back.

"Sitting in the boardroom and hearing her use the word inappropriate, inappropriate, inappropriate painted me to the public as a child predator," Hamilton told NBC DFW, getting emotional.

Despite the timing of Hamilton's firing, the school district denies he was fired for his sexual orientation.

Hamilton says he plans to appeal.